On Saturday morning, Oct. 6, the annual Friends of the Seminary Day was held in the seminary’s auditorium. This event highlights the way gifts to WLS help support the worldwide mission of WELS. Through worship and presentations, this year’s theme focused on how seminary faculty and students serve throughout mission fields in the U.S. and around the world.
During the opening worship, Pastor Jon Bare, International Recruitment Director, preached the sermon “God’s Word Still Works,” based on Isaiah 55:10-11. He reminded us that even though we are working in a world that tries to convince us that God’s Word won’t work anymore, “we see how it has worked in our own lives, we see how it is working as men go out from our seminary to pastor churches and reach the lost, and we see it working as our seminary trains men beyond our seminary throughout the world through our Pastoral Studies Institute program,” he says. “God gives us a powerful reminder though his prophet Isaiah that his Word will never stop working—and we are encouraged to keep on training men, both here and abroad, who will faithfully use that same powerful Word.”
Then the 115 attendees listened as Prof. Kenneth Cherney, Jr., spoke on the topic: “There’s Nothing Like Being There: Why We Teach Pastors to Read the OT in Hebrew.” He shared examples of features of the biblical text that readers can’t access via a translation. “When you read the Bible in English, are you reading God’s Word? Of course,” he said. “But it’s a little like hugging your spouse through a quilt. You know she’s there, and it’s still nice—but there’s definitely something missing.”
Senior Sam Jeske also shared his experiences serving as a vicar at Abiding Grace, Covington, Georgia. While he knew he would enjoy learning from and working with a congregation, he was most thankful for how much he came to love the people there. “God not only uses his shepherds—vicars included—to shape and mold God’s people; God uses God’s people to shape and mold his shepherds,” he says.
In addition to presentations, the Auxiliary collected an offering of almost $1,800 which is combined with other gifts throughout the year. These donations allow the Friends of the Seminary to provide wish list items to the students and staff. This year’s gift will provide exterior lighting for our bridge, a rototiller, and an ADA drinking fountain.
Next year’s Friends of the Seminary Day will be Oct. 5, 2019. It is open to all—men, women, young, and old. Plan now to join us.